Is a support worker a healthcare professional?
Though healthcare support personnels and healthcare professionals work in almost the same setting, their roles are quite distinct. Just as the name implies, healthcare support workers render support and assistance when needed. They work alongside other healthcare professionals like therapists, physicians, and nurses, providing patients with unequaled care. As a support worker, you will be at the heart of everything, working under the oversight of a healthcare professional to help and support patients on their journey to recovery.
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Who are Healthcare Support Workers?
A healthcare support worker has a relatively stretched work description. As the career description clearly states, they are primarily needed in a supportive capacity for both the specialists and the clients’ needs during this period. Their job description ranges from conducting routine health checks such as obtaining blood samples and administering medications to providing emotional assistance such as communicating to their patients in anxiety or helping them with their day-to-day activities.
Their sole priority is to ensure that their patients are comfortable even in ill conditions and feel the best they can afford to be. They can work in a wide variety of fields ranging from disabled patients, terminal illnesses, mental health patients, child services, or wherever their services are being required.
Who are Healthcare Professionals?
On the other hand, a healthcare professional is one who through years of formal training and hands-on practice to gain experience, is certified to administer healthcare treatments. They are known professionals in their various specialisation areas, including nursing, family physician, radiologist, physical therapist, psychiatrist, etc.
These healthcare professionals may be licensed by more than one professional body and are usually trained in specific fields to ensure they are fully equipped with the necessary proficiency and skills to carry out their duties.
These professionals are charged with examining the patients and carrying out diagnoses. They go further to provide treatments and proffer measures to prevent the recurrence of these illnesses in their patients.
What Does the Role of a Support Worker Entail?
The role of a support worker is a more practical approach to healthcare as they are not limited to medical attention alone. Their function can also vary depending on the needs of the patient being handled, and it’s the job of the support worker to be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of their patient at every given time.
Some of the duties that would be required from a support worker include
Attributes A Healthcare Support Worker Must Have
Being a healthcare support worker requires personal qualities that ensure your patients are in safe hands throughout their illness. Some of them include:
Entry Requirements & Career Developments For a Healthcare Support Worker
There are no standard entry requirements to meet before you can become a healthcare support worker. However, good numeracy and literacy skills are expected. You might also need to possess some healthcare qualifications like NVQ or BTEC to take up certain roles.
Also, as a healthcare support worker, you should possess certain soft skills like communication, teamwork, empathy, and organization. These skills will help you thrive on the job.
Like every other job, a healthcare support worker can undergo certifications and training while on the job to ensure they are ideally suited to carry out their duties. They are guided on what to do by professionals until they don’t require supervision anymore, but it doesn’t have to end there. Support workers who wish to further their qualifications and become professionals themselves can always scale up. You can work towards acquiring a care certificate and taking training that will help you advance your career ladder.
Different Fields Healthcare Support Workers can Work in
Due to the vast nature of the healthcare support work system and how they are required in every field, it is easier to group them according to various areas. This helps them attain mastery in those required fields and ensures their career path is one of ease.
These various roles typically support functions from multiple professional fields such as:
While the duties of a healthcare support worker might vary and be slightly different from the healthcare professionals, they are undoubtedly also significant, and their role cannot be downplayed or neglected.